Oyang Sikgwan 오양식관 (Gwanghwamun, Seoul)

Never thought I’d find another kimchi jjigae restaurant to crack my top 10, but indeed I have. It’s not as old as the other traditional places that I’ve covered/reviewed before, but when food is this good, I couldn’t be selfish and had to share with others.

The place is called Oyang Sikgwan and they do kimchi jjigae like no other. How so, you ask?  They’re unique because they don’t tout the use of mugeunji kimchi — kimchi that’s been aged roughly 6 months or more — like most competitors. Instead, the owner focuses on “fresher” kimchi and its liquid, both being remarkably tart yet flavorful. According to the friendly emo, the kimchi is packed airtight into a container and most of the air is also taken out, slowing down the fermentation process to produce kimchi that’s crunchier and firmer like geotjeori (fresh) kimchi but with intense fermentation flavors. Combine it with high-quality, fresh pork and you got the perfect comfort food for the upcoming winter. The emo also suggested coming back to try out their bossam, which is an ideal substitute for those can’t handle spicy soups such as kimchi jjigae. Pictured is their generous two-person serving for only 15,000 won (extra 1,000 for the ramen noodles).

I’ve eaten my fair share of quality kimchi jjigae in Seoul, ranging from the super tart and to the spicy, umami-packed stews that are simply addicting and sublime. Here are the top ones I personally recommend if you like Korea’s ultimate comfort food:
  1. Gwanghwamun Jip 광화문집
  2. Guldari Sikdang 굴다리식당
  3. Suryun Jip 수련집
  4. Hyundae Jungyuk Sikdang 현대정육식당
  5. Hanok Jip 한옥집
Food: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars

Service: ★★★★ out of 5 stars

Ambiance: ★★★★ out of 5 stars

Value: ★★★★★ out of 5 stars

Oyang Sikgwan 오양식관

Taepyeong-ro 1ga 76-3, Jung-gu (서울 중구 태평로 1가 76-3)

Phone: 02-732-8088

Hours: Open every day 10:00 am ~ 10:00 pm except Sundays

Click here for an interactive map: http://naver.me/5A8WUFze


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